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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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fourth try, please answer
Jul 7, 2005

My exposure was less than seven months ago. Prior to exposure due to a spinal injury years ago I suffer from neuropathy in my right foot, pins and needles. I have little feeling in both feet. I had only occasional burning in my left foot. About a month ago, I started to have daily burning and pins and needles in my left foot, no increased pain in my right. Could this be from HIV this early since my nerves already had damage or would this be something that only happens years down the road. If this could be from HIV, would that mean that I am a fast progressor?

Response from Dr. Conway

I am not sure from your question if you are infected with HIV or not. Neuropathy of the type you describe is not often (if ever) a symptom of acute HIV infection this long after the exposure. This being said, you should have an HIV antibody test done now and if it is negative, it rules out the exposure of 7 months ago as having transmitted HIV. Such a negative test over the past 3-4 months would also rule it out.

If you are recently infected, the development of neuropathy can occur due to HIV, as certain strains replicate more easily in nerve cells, so this type of presentation is not unheard of and is not necessarily associated with rapid disease progression.

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